Christmas tree lots say supply is fine after scramble over shortages

Sunday, 03 Dec, 2017

"Farms are closing, and we are getting to be an older breed", Judy Reifenberg said.

Naperville News 17's Beth Bria reports.

Tree lights could also be fire hazards.

That assessment mirrors what Reifenberg has observed locally.

This year's festival, taking place from December 6 to 10, will feature a bumper display of more than 100 trees, lovingly decorated by schools, businesses, churches, charities and families across the area.

"Twine that is wrapped around trees and looped through door jambs or open windows can cause serious damage to door seals and window frames", Greg Brannon, director of Automotive Engineering and Industry Relations, said.

It's hard to supply the public's demand when no new growers are coming on board, Reifenberg said.

Christmas tree lots say supply is fine after scramble over shortages
Christmas tree lots say supply is fine after scramble over shortages

"We always wanted to buy an acreage and wound up with 27 acres", said Erika Bodnaruk. He's been selling cut-your-own trees at his farm for 42 years.

If you shop at Aerni's, they have a guarantee: "We have a policy on our lot, if a tree sticks out 2 or 3 feet on one side, if they get a ticket, we'll pay for it". The lot is a fundraiser for the church, Gerke said.

He said the nursery boosted its numbers of Fraser and Douglas firs instead, and also carries other trees such as blue spruce and white pine. Selecting a tree from a local tree farm also supports local jobs and reduces emissions from transporting trees cross country. "There are enough Christmas trees for consumers and we don't want that to be a worry", Gray said. So they chose to stop planting as many trees.

Kelley said some of those customers told her they lost homes to Harvey.

Many trees are precut, so Preuss recommends asking for a fresh cut: Have the seller slice off an inch or two off the bottom right before you take it home. This is the third tree they have purchased through "Buy a Tree, Change a Life". "It's a European market so we're looking at what production forecast is", said Johnston. "If I can help them out, I will". "The ones I got cost me more than they normally do - my supplier said it's going to be this way for the next couple years".

"It's a frantic period for all the growers", Tony Johnston, chairman of the Irish Christmas Tree Growers, told Other growers did the same for them when they bought their farm in 1999.

"Even if they're living in a camper or RV, they're determined to have the most awesome Christmas yet", she said. "But it is very, very rewarding". "It really brings that spirit into their homes, the joy on the children's faces when they're picking them out".